THE ORGANISING APPROACH

Conference notes that in recent years UNISON has evolved from an organisation with a servicing culture to one with an organising approach. The union is more likely to get good results where it has strong membership organisation. Strong membership is based on the following organising principles: i.Working collectively; ii.Listening to members’ views; iii.Knowing where our […]

PENSIONS GOVERNANCE

Conference notes that UNISON has established policy to undertake work to develop, train and elect members to become effective trustees or member representatives of private and public pension funds. The importance of member involvement can be illustrated by the Local Government Scheme (LGPS). Collectively the LGPS would be the largest pension fund in the UK […]

CALCULATING PRICE INDEX

Conference believes that although we are firmly committed to the restoration of the earnings link we should also seek to strengthen the link to price increase. Conference notes that the “shopping basket” used to calculate the price index contains many items that are not relevant to pensioners, for example, video games. Conference therefore requests that […]

FEE EXEMPTION FOR PENSIONERS

Conference believes that the few retired people who, on retirement, want to pursue higher education in the form of undergraduate and graduate courses should enjoy an exemption from tuition fees. Apart from these fees being grossly unfair they assume an affordability which will not be the case for the majority of pensioners undertaking these courses. […]

INCOME TAX – ABOLITION OF THE 10P RATE AND PENSIONERS

Conference deplores the abolition of the 10p income tax band and its impact on pensioners especially those aged 60-64 for whom it will have a particularly adverse effect. Conference believes it was not the intention of Gordon Brown, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, to disadvantage pensioners in this way, but also recognises that initiatives should […]

School Staff National Negotiations

Conference is aware that there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of support and professional staff employed in schools over the last 5 years. In addition, their roles and responsibilities have also increased however pay has not always kept place with this. Conference notes the Secretary of State, Ed Balls’, announcement last autumn, […]

POST OFFICE CLOSURES

Conference notes the ever increasing closures of post offices across the whole of the UK. Post offices are not just somewhere to buy stamps or post letters and parcels but are in fact a vital asset both in rural and urban areas. Many pensioners do not have a banking account and particularly in rural areas […]

INCREASE IN THE BASIC STATE PENSION AND RESTORATION OF THE LINK TO EARNINGS

Conference regrets that in his March 2008 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, again failed to increase the basic state pension to restore its value if the link to average earnings had not been broken by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government. Pensioners should have an immediate rise now to restore the pension value and […]

COMMISSIONER FOR THE ELDERLY

At the 2007 Retired Members’ Annual Conference, an Emergency Motion was carried, with the third highest support, calling for a single Government Minister for responsibility for the Elderly. Since then a Commissioner for the Elderly has been appointed for Wales, by the Welsh Assembly, with responsibility for ensuring all aspects for the elderly receive appropriate […]

INADEQUATE AGE ADDITION TO STATE PENSION

The age addition to the over 80s was first introduced in 1971. The value was set at 25p representing 5% of the weekly State Pension of £5. It was a welcome addition. If it had risen relative to the State Pension it would now be worth about £4.50 a week. The mighty amount of 25p […]

DENTAL CHARGES

This conference recognises that the government’s simplification of dental charges was a worthy aim. However, it has recently been announced that dental charges paid by NHS patients have increased by over £1 million per week. There are three bands of charging and it would appear that many treatments are charged at the highest band of […]

KEEPING COUPLES TOGETHER IN CARE HOMES

Conference has been appalled to read in the press that a retired couple elected to commit suicide rather than face being separated into different care homes when one partner becomes unable to care for the other. It is unacceptable that couples who’ve been together for most of their lives are separated at a time when […]

SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY

This Retired Members’ Conference deplores the inequality in Social Care in the Community. Having closed Old People’s Homes and promising that this was so that the money could be used to assist people in their own homes, it appears to be another postcode lottery as to what assistance is given and to what is free […]

THE CHARGING OF SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

Conference notes that 3.5 million older people in the UK live alone due to factors which include bereavement and social isolation. Women are particularly affected as they are more likely than men to be widowed e.g. 3 in 5 women aged 75 and over live alone. Conference further notes that for single persons or persons […]

Care of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

This Conference notes )the recent publication of ‘Better Outcomes: the way forward – improving the care of unaccompanied asylum seeking children’ by the Borders and Immigration Agency (BIA) which sets out the framework for providing services to unaccompanied asylum seeking children; 2)That unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people arrive in this country separated from their family and […]